OK here is what I think works, many pilots don't agree but the same guys are usually farther down in the results so take this info as it is.

What is F3F all about?
.......Shortest time for 1km with 9 turns.
What adds time?
......Flying long.
......Flying slow.
What's the most important part of the flight?
......The turn Exit.
How do I make a great exit?
......With a good entry.

Simple isn't it?

Practice flying the perfect turn about where you think the flag is. Get close but the goal is to fly the best turn possible. The “Best Turn” is the fastest one. Keep trying different amounts of roll before you pull. A F3F “Pylon Style” turn is a little elevator pump to about 15deg then a 120deg roll away from the slope to just past knife edge and then apply elevator. See when to "release" the turn for a smooth exit wings level and straight to the next turn. Start at different altitudes and see what works. Also what works on the left will be different on the right so try a little of everything. The exit is where all the speed comes from, the entry gets you to the exit you want. The straight stuff in the middle just sets you up for the next entry/exit.

Do all this WITHOUT a beeper. Forget the beeper or flagger. That comes later. You can learn this in round Zero at a comp if you have your turns working. If you don't than you will never find it. Its THAT important.

You can't turn on the flag unless you know how to turn first. This is my biggest problem and I consistently have to remind myself to stop hanging inverted waiting for the beep. It is much faster to be 6’ or 10' long with a smooth and fast turn than hanging inverted waiting for the horn.

How to turn on the flag?
Make your best and well practiced turn earlier and earlier until you hear the beep just after you grab a handful of elevator. Sneak up on it. The more you do it you will get a feel when to turn, using shadows and other landmarks might help but you need to "use the force" to play with the big dogs.

A good set up will take the workload off the pilot but it won't replace knowing what to do.

Hot laps!

Tom Copp
Composite Specialties